If you’re looking for a tattoo that embodies the different components of your individuality, then you need to take a look at the best yin-yang tattoos gathered below. You may be wondering: why are yin-yang tattoos so special? Yin-yang tattoos are unique because they can be as simple or as complex as each individual. Since yin-yang tattoos have such a large range of meanings, they are relatable and adaptable. One person can have an extremely intricate yin-yang tattoo that describes their personality and opposing interests while another person may choose a basic yin-yang tattoo to represent their love of balance.
60 Contrasting Yin-Yang Tattoos that Hold a Deeper Meaning
The detailed meaning of a yin-yang tattoo can vary from person to person, but the overall concept of yin and yang is one of balance and harmony. The “yin” is the black side while the “yang” is the white side. The yin-yang symbol, also known as a taijitu, combines the light and dark sides to represent the cycle of all life. Traditionally, the “yin” is associated with water, the moon, nighttime, femininity, the cold, and passiveness while the “yang” embodies fire, the sun, daytime, masculinity, heat, and activeness.
Yin-yang is a balance within each person, and if either side is greater than the other, it is believed that the person will become sick and unhealthy. Many people are drawn to yin-yang tattoos because it showcases such complexity. It shows how someone’s strengths and weaknesses work together to create a unique individual. Men and women are both drawn to this type of tattoo because yin-yang represents the balance and harmony needed within life. With so many ways of interpreting the yin-yang symbol, how do you choose one? Take a look below at 60 of the best yin-yang tattoos you can use for inspiration.
1. Black & White Koi Fish Yin-Yang Sketch Tattoo
These two koi fish have the dark and light patterns of the yin-yang symbol. They are shown swimming in the opposite direction of the circle within them. While fish are common in yin-yang tattoos, the sketched look of this one really makes this design unique.
2. Japanese Yin-Yang Koi Fish Chrysanthemum Flower Tattoo
The details in this tattoo draw you in for a closer look. The upper right side contains skull-like imagery to symbolize death while the flower in the middle flourishes with life. This duality between life and death, both circled by the koi fish, is a perfect example of yin-yang.
3. Realistic Bear Yin-Yang Tattoo in Grayscale
Yin-yang ideology believes there are two sides to every creature, including this bear. The darker one has its fangs bared, showcasing its strength and ability to be aggressive. The lighter bear appears calm and docile, a perfect counterpart to its other side.
4. Rainbow Watercolor Yin-Yang Splatter Tattoo
This classic yin-yang symbol is surrounded by a colorful rainbow splatter. Yin-yang is all about balance, which the rainbow accomplishes blends all of the colors together seamlessly in a continuous design. The yin-yang symbol looks like it is hand-painted, which helps it stand out from other yin-yang tattoos.
5. Yin-Yang Dragon and Buddha Tattoo
Buddha emanates peace and serenity, and people who associate with the Buddha are usually striving for wisdom through their intellectual and ethical sides. Dragons represent strength and power. This tattoo showcases yin-yang by balancing the idea of power with peace.
6. Fire and Ice Yin-Yang Color Tattoo
Fire and ice seem to work against each other since they are opposites for hot and cold. Yin-yang believes that the two elements cannot exist properly if the other one is too strong or too weak. Fire and ice can only coexist if they are balanced properly like this tattoo.
7. Polar Bear Yin-Yang Black & White Tattoo
This tattoo shows a powerful polar bear beside its shadowed inner being. The darker is more aggressive, baring its long fangs in a huge snarl. The lighter polar bear is roaring as well, but not as fiercely. This is a great analogy for a fearsome beast that lurks within oneself.
8. Angel & Devil Wings Stone Yin-Yang Tattoo
The yin-yang symbol is a carved rock, with the darker portion cut out from the stone. This is a creative representation of a single being having two sides to themselves. Two opposing wings circle the symbol, one an angel and the other a demon, showing the duality of it.
9. Owl Sun Mandala Flower Yin-Yang Tattoo
Owls symbolize wisdom and intelligence, and this tattoo encompasses the idea of yin-yang with its contrast between the soft, lighter owl and the more rigid, darker owl. It breaks from traditional yin-yang iconography because the black section is hard and red while the white section is soft and blue.
10. Brushstroke Yin-Yang Ouroboros Dragon Tattoo
This tattoo uses brushstroke imagery for the dragon to form an ouroboros. An ouroboros is an image of a serpent eating its own tail, and it symbolizes the cycle of life and death. The swirling design inside the yin-yang symbol emphasizes life while the dragon is dead.
11. Trees and Water Yin-Yang Tattoo
The “yin” portion of this tattoo shows the land while the “yang” sideshows water, keeping its symbolism true to the traditional meaning of the yin-yang symbol. The two elements interact with each other and seem separate, but they need each other to thrive.
12. Galaxy Watercolor Ripple Yin-Yang Tattoo
This tattoo really captures the essence of the galaxy. The imagery is perfect for the concept of yin-yang, showing that the entire universe is balanced. By using a watercolor design for the tattoo, it retrains soft edges to create an otherworldly representation of harmony within the universe.
13. Traditional Japanese Koi Fish Yin-Yang Tattoo
Koi fish are popular for Japanese-style tattoos because they symbolize success and good fortune. The circular motion of the fish swimming represents the idea that everything, including life, is connected. This makes a powerful image when paired with the yin-yang symbol.
14. Geometric Black & White Yin-Yang Tattoo
Symmetry and balance are conveyed through geometric tattoos, so pairing them with the yin-yang symbol is an example of how the design of a tattoo can add an additional layer of interest to the subject matter. The even geometry enhances the idea of balance in a yin-yang tattoo.
15. Minimalist Watercolor Smoke Yin-Yang Tattoo
The smoke represents transition and protection in a tattoo. With this yin-yang tattoo, the colorful smoke encompasses the entire yin-yang symbol, which suggests that the pieces representing the yin-yang symbol can transition into each other to create one single cohesive idea.
More Yin-Yang tattoos for men on the next page…
16. Buddha Two-Face Yin-Yang Full Back Tattoo
This full-back tattoo has a lot of detail to display duality within oneself. The yin-yang symbol at the top is slightly covered by smoke to protect the balance of life. The two-faced Buddha shows how one entity can encompass both positive and negative traits.
17. Tribal Turtle Line Yin-Yang Tattoo
Turtles carry a lot of meaning on their shells, including love, patience, and protection. While this tattoo may not look like a yin-yang symbol, it does have areas of light and dark to represent “yin” and “yang”. Harmony is within everything, even if it is not seen at first glance.
18. Purple and Green Fish Yin-Yang Tattoo
The fish in this yin-yang tattoo delicately hold their opposite pearls, symbolizing how each part nurtures a piece of the other fish. As they swim around, they continue the cycle of life that yin-yang represents, creating a balance between themselves and their counterpart.
19. Simple Blackwork Yin-Yang Sketch Tattoo
Yin-yang tattoos do not need to be extremely detailed or have a lot of extra images in them. Sometimes a simple, well-designed tattoo is the best to represent the desire for balance. The sketch-like ripples around this tattoo help make it look unique.
20. Grayscale Clutching Hands Yin-Yang Tattoo
This yin-yang tattoo is a powerful image with a dark corpse-like demon hand clutching at a light hand that is fleshy and alive. The two hands pull each other, interlocking the concept of life and death. They need each other because they are two halves of a whole.
21. Watercolor Red and Blue Yin-Yang Tattoo
Red and blue are considered opposites, but this tattoo brings them together beautifully. The entire composition centers around uniformity, so even though the two sides are different, they both still look similar. This is a perfect example of what yin-yang represents.
22. Minimalist Brushstroke Black and White Yin-Yang Tattoo
A simple brush stroke can create a huge visual masterpiece, and this tattoo shows that with an artistic flow to create a stunning design. Yin-yang can have a simple meaning, such as letting two things flow together naturally to form a harmonious duo.
23. Dragon and Phoenix Yin-Yang Color Tattoo
The phoenix represents rebirth and fire, and the dragon acts as its counterpart to symbolize death and water. The two circle each other, completing the circle of life, and clutch each other’s orb closely to their bodies. The two mythical animals are intertwined, trusting each other with a piece of themselves.
24. Two Women Illustrative Mandala Flower Yin-Yang Tattoo
Illustrative tattoos have become increasingly popular since they use an artist’s talent to mimic a storybook picture. The two figures in this tattoo are the same woman at two different ages, and this tattoo combines the cycle of aging with the concept of yin-yang.
25. Blackwork Two Trees Yin-Yang Tattoo
This type of tattoo is called a blackwork tattoo because of its use of heavy black without any shading to create a striking image. When looking at one tree, the second tree appears to be the first tree’s roots, tying together the yin-yang ideology of everything being connected.
26. Dragons Black and White Yin-Yang Tattoo
Dragons are elegant creatures who embody a variety of characteristics. This tattoo shows the idea of yin-yang through the contrasting details of each dragon. One is light and delicate looking while the other is dark and rigid, but they both circle around each other symmetrically.
27. Simple Manta-Ray Yin-Yang Tattoo
Manta rays are spiritual guardians in different Polynesian regions and represent wisdom and graceful strength. The two manta rays in this yin-yang tattoo circle around each other, showing that they move as one. Both have a light and dark side, but only one side is showing while they swim.
28. Land and Sky Grayscale Couples Yin-Yang Tattoo
This tattoo takes the idea of yin and yang into a landscape setting. The light-colored one includes mountains and clouds while the darker one has those same mountains with a reflection of the sky on water. This relates to the traditional idea of yin-yang.
29. Matching Couples Minimalist Yin-Yang Tattoo
Sometimes the simplest things hold the most meaning. These matching tattoos will always connect these two people through these yin-yang tattoos, showing that although they are separate people, they complement each other and fit together perfectly.
30. Illustrative Landscape Mountain Ocean Yin-Yang Tattoo
This tattoo connects two different regions using yin-yang. While the darker one includes mountains, nighttime, the moon, and a cold theme, the light one shows a tropical ocean, daytime, the sun, and a warm tone. They are opposite environments, but their similar designs create a harmonious connection.
More Yin-Yang tattoos for women on the next page…
31. Black & White Koi Fish Yin-Yang Couples Tattoo
These delicate koi fish look like they are swimming from one arm to the other in a continuous pattern. The spots on their heads and backs are the same as a yin-yang symbol, creating the illusion that one part of the fish lives on the other one.
32. Two Faces Yin-Yang Minimalist Blackwork Tattoo
Everyone has at least two sides to themselves, and this tattoo accurately reflects the notion of someone looking at their inner self. The shadowed figure does not have any distinct characteristics, but it is obvious that it is an inner version of the lighter-colored face.
33. Nautilus Shell Mandala Flower Yin-Yang Color Tattoo
The division between the colored section and the black and white portion of this tattoo is breathtaking. It implements precise linework to bring together both sides, just like the yin-yang symbol. The difference in color palette and texture show how two seemingly different ideas can merge.
34. Sun and Moon Yin-Yang Greyscale Tattoo
Sun and moon tattoos combine two opposites and represent unity and cooperation instead of conflict. This pairs well with the yin-yang symbol since it has a similar meaning. The moon texture along with the “yin” and the black sun in the “yang” create an interesting design.
35. Colored Cats Hugging Yin-Yang Tattoo
A cat tattoo usually represents luck, intelligence, and grace, but many people get cat tattoos to symbolize their pet cat or cats. The soft colors and beautiful contrasting colors in this tattoo are an excellent way to portray the yin-yang symbol through two loved pets.
36. Sakura Yin-Yang Sun & Moon Tattoo
This tattoo has many elements that relate to the yin-yang symbol. The moon and sun symbolize two opposites that are complementary and have clouds tying them together. Sakura blossoms represent the passing of time, so pairing them with the yin-yang symbol effectively states that balance transcends time.
37. Two Minds and Bodies Floating Yin-Yang Tattoo
The two people portrayed in this blackwork tattoo are connected through their mental and spiritual selves. The mind often represents intelligence and spirituality, so this tattoo effectively connects the two bodies using yin-yang imagery as the two figures float around each other like koi fish.
38. Small Yin-Yang Black & White Koi Fish Tattoo
Small, uncomplicated yin-yang tattoos can be beautiful, and this one has a lot of movement. The two koi fish, opposites in color, are constantly swimming around each other to symbolize the natural cycle of life. The koi fish are lovely as separate tattoos, but they are much more beautiful together.
39. Water and Fire Yin-Yang Abstract Tattoo
Fire and water are opposites that seem to destroy each other if they are out of balance. Too much fire would evaporate the water, and too much water would extinguish the fire. The two elements need to be balanced to thrive in this abstract yin-yang tattoo.
40. Mandala Dreamcatcher Yin-Yang Tattoo with Feathers
Flying birds off of a feather are associated with freedom from the mind and body while a dreamcatcher tattoo symbolizes protection from evil. When combined with the yin-yang symbol, these images symbolize the ascension from the mind to find balance.
41. Black Sun with Moon & Stars Yin-Yang Tattoo
The sun and moon are seen as yin-yang symbols on their own because of the connotation that opposites can complement each other. Although they are different, the moon relies on light from the sun, showing that the two are connected deeply to each other.
42. Illustrative Cats Yin-Yang Sun & Moon Tattoo
This tattoo combines cats with the traditional yin-yang symbol. The sun and moon are expanded in this tattoo to encompass daytime and nighttime with their backgrounds on the cats. The cats mirror each other and contain the same clouds. They are truly two halves of the same whole.
43. Pisces Constellation Yin-Yang Koi Fish Tattoo
A horoscope tattoo is personal, and this one is a Pisces constellation made into koi fish. They swim around each other in their dance of life and death, just like in yin-yang. The placement of the constellation is excellent because it is still recognizable on the fish.
44. Color Yin-Yang Landscape Mountain Tropics Tattoo
This yin-yang tattoo is interesting because it shows two different regional landscapes through a single image. The colors are strikingly different and make each other pop off of the skin. The mountains in the background connect the tropical landscape to the mountainous one.
45. Realistic Black & White Cat Yin-Yang Tattoo
Black cats keep evil away while white cats represent good fortune, so this tattoo acts as a good-luck charm by combining those two aspects. It plays with the black and white of a yin-yang symbol but keeps the cat as one single animal instead of two coming together.
More Yin-Yang tattoos for girls on the next page…
46. Mountain Ocean Compass Yin-Yang Illustrative Style Tattoo
Compasses help you find the right direction in your life and help keep you from losing your way. When paired with the mountain and ocean yin-yang imagery, this tattoo represents how harmony in life will help one during their life’s travels.
47. Forest and Ocean Yin-Yang Color Tattoo
This tattoo looks like an oil painting inside of the yin-yang symbol. The warm colors of the forest compliment the cool ocean waves. Traditionally, water is associated with the “yin” or dark side of the symbol, but this tattoo shows that it can flip the sides and still look beautiful.
48. Paisley Flower Turtle Yin-Yang Tattoo
Paisley tattoos are an expression of individuality because their designs are so unique. Turtles can symbolize endurance and longevity, so when paired with the yin-yang symbol and the paisley pattern, this tattoo states that the individuality of the person can endure time because it is perfectly balanced.
49. Minimalistic Grayscale Koi Fish Yin-Yang Tattoo
This stunningly simple tattoo holds a lot of meaning. The two fish swim endlessly around each other to represent the cycle of life and death, and their opposite coloration is reminiscent of the yin-yang symbol. The two koi fish are two parts of the same image and move together fluidly.
50. Sun and Moon Turtle Yin-Yang Tattoo
The turtle’s shell holds the sun and moon in a simple yin-yang symbol. It reminds one of the World Turtle in various mythologies. The World Turtle is a giant tortoise that carries the world on its shell. This tattoo makes the connection that the world needs balance.
51. Deconstructed Yin-Yang Minimalist Black & White Tattoo
Each small piece of the yin-yang symbol makes the whole image, and this tattoo shows the entire symbol broken down. There is a small portion of “yin” in the “yang” and vice versa. This creates one half of the greater whole that fits together perfectly.
52. Lotus Flower Leaf Yin-Yang Tattoo
Negative space is used to create a yin-yang symbol in this tattoo. The lotus flower represents a pure soul, and this tattoo uses the lotus to show that when one can balance their inner thoughts, one can create a spiritual awakening and find harmony within themselves.
53. Illustrative Yin-Yang Koi Fish Flower Tattoo
This tattoo ties together the meaning of flowers, which are symbols of natural beauty, love, and life, with the meaning of perseverance from koi fish. The koi are colored to mimic a yin-yang symbol, and this tattoo can be interpreted as persevering through the struggles in one’s life to maintain a natural equilibrium.
54. Dreamcatcher with Feathers Yin-Yang Blackwork Tattoo
Dreamcatcher tattoos represent safety and protection. A dreamcatcher is designed to filter anything negative, such as dreams and spirits, out of one’s life. The feathers allow good dreams to connect with the dreamer. Paired with the yin-yang symbol, this tattoo shows the correlation between positive and negative dreams.
55. Day & Night Yin-Yang Mountains Linework Tattoo
This tattoo shows the “yang” of a landscape with the inverted “yin” upside down. The linework for the mountains is symmetrical from the top to the bottom while the yin-yang portion is along the left and right sides. It almost looks like the yin-yang is circling the image.
56. Lotus and Swirls Yin-Yang Tattoo
The whimsical nature of this tattoo is reminiscent of a Tim Burton design. Lotuses represent purity and rebirth because they can take root in dirty water and still produce a lovely flower. This tattoo shows the cycle of life, death, and rebirth just like the yin-yang symbol.
57. Blackwork Turtle Heart Yin-Yang Tattoo
Turtles represent longevity and the heart is a symbol of love. The dot on the top is the same as the ones in the yin-yang design, symbolizing that this person values balance to obtain a long-lasting love. It can also be interpreted as love and long life are only accomplished through achieving equilibrium.
58. Black & White Yin-Yang Cuddling Cats Tattoo
Cats are lucky animals who are very affectionate with the ones they love. This tattoo embodies that knowledge with the two cats cuddling together to form a yin-yang symbol. Although they are colored as opposites, they love each other, showing how two different beings can find comfort in each other.
59. Swimming Koi Fish Yin-Yang Tattoo
These koi fish appear to be swimming around the yin-yang symbol. The lighter fish is over the dark “yin” while the darker fish encompasses the light “yang.” This shows the movement of the koi as they flow through the cycle of life represented by the yin-yang symbol.
60. Water and Forest Yin-Yang Color Tattoo
Two separate sides of this yin-yang tattoo come together imaginatively. The tidal wave is energetic and has movement while the image of the path in the woods is tranquil and static. Both designs are tied together by the white-inked suns, sewing a common thread between the two opposing designs.
60 Unique and Unforgettable Yin-Yang Tattoos
Yin-yang designs blend two contrasting ideas into one harmonious image. This kind of tattoo can have a variety of meanings, so it is easy to make it unique to you. Landscapes, colors, animals, and even shapes can be an inspiration for a yin-yang design. Typically the “yin” is the dark side with a connection to water and femininity while the “yang” side is light and connected to fire and masculinity, but your design can be as traditional or untraditional as you desire. Everything is connected and enhanced with a yin-yang tattoo. They can be simple or complex, but they are always beautiful.